Forecasting the Future: 5 Analyzers Who See The Big Picture
You’ve probably heard the phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff,” but to Analyzers, those minute details reveal immersive and complex worlds. A single line of code may determine the difference between a memorable gaming experience or a dud. Deciphering a seemingly mysterious data set may result in a better way to break down sports film. The right person in the right place at the right time can change an entire construction project.
Many of the Analyzers in this list work in fast-paced technological fields, using high-powered programs and vast data sets to produce solutions and products. But as we learn when we dig deeper, analyzing can mean managing people and personalities to determine optimal outcomes. Sift through our list of five Analyzers who see the big picture through the small stuff.
Christopher “Chris” Cross
Video game designer and business owner Chris Cross has touched almost every aspect of the endeavor in his 20-year career, from big picture design right down to the code that powers it. The technical skill and vision required to build modern games are vast, but what Cross believes is essential to the process is even deeper: empathy.
“You have to be able to imagine the other person that uses this product.”
What will the person playing this game feel, think and say about how it affects them, about the quality of their experience? Empathy informs every level of drawing, line of code and playthrough session from start to finish. It’s how he’s made classics for video game giant Blizzard and how he runs his own company Princess Hermit today.
Watch our interview with Cross for more on breaking into the gaming industry.
Lives are at stake in Howard Jameson’s line of work. As a geotechnical engineer, Jameson collects and analyzes data to inform the safety of nearby people and structures. His is a family business that has grown from 6 employees to 43, in part because of the tools he acquired in pursuit of his former career aspirations in the financial world.
Why the change? “Time spent conforming to the system is time wasted.” As a political science and economics major and later as a marketing specialist, it took Jameson years to realize he needed to ask himself about his future. Everything crystallized once he set those goals and worked toward them. Today, he combines his love for working with people with his love of math and science, giving himself and others the life of which they dreamed.
Jameson speaks to the importance of data and life analysis in our video interview below.
Data analyst Kelly Burdine isn’t always presented with a clear end goal in her job at Nebraska-based sports technology firm Hudl. Sometimes her colleagues come to her with a problem and a set of data — or maybe just the data — and ask her to pull rabbits out of hats.
Broadly, that can mean changing the way people use or engage with the company’s game analysis software, helping coaches maximize their teams’ potential. But it always means looking closely at the small details and painting a new big picture. Or as she puts it, “throw yourself into the deep.”
Burdine talks about swimming through data in our video interview.
Like another analyzer in this list, Hector Rosario’s life revolves around his passion for video games. But rather than build them, he is on the front lines of the esports explosion, managing organizations of players and using his data company to help his players gain a competitive edge.
Rosario transitioned from a life of physical sports to esports in 2010 and “never looked back.” He founded and runs FlipSid3 Tactics, which managers players of titles like Rocket League, Rainbow Six and Dota 2. In doing so, Rosario saw a gap between tools for traditional sports players and gamers. He says that in the information age, “the people who succeed are those who are able to connect the dots pick out what information is pertinent, and make correct predictions.”
Read our interview with Rosario on forecasting and adapting in a fast-changing esports world.
Most of the folks we’ve listed here use numbers and statistics to develop new products and solve problems. Data is but one part of Todd Feltman’s job as a government contractor, overseeing construction of everything from fences to government buildings.
While “project manager” accurately describes Feltman, he sees himself more of a people and problem manager. He analyzes what crew members fit best together on a particular job, what specialists he needs to hire, which structural strategies are necessary to keep narcotics and weapons from entering the country. That requires constant on-the-job learning that keeps things fresh and engaging.
Feltman tells us more in the video interview below.